Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia

By Adeeb Khalid | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Islam in Opposition

In November 1991, as Central Asia lurched toward independence, Islam Karimov, the recently proclaimed president of Uzbekistan, paid a visit to the city of Namangan in the Ferghana Valley to meet local Party and government officials. Various informal groups, many of them religious, had been told that their representatives would also be able to meet Karimov and present their ideas to him. In the event, however, Karimov refused to meet them and flew back to Tashkent. As news of this snub spread through the town, a group called Adolat (Justice) organized a mass rally to demand that Karimov return to Namangan and meet with public figures. The situation became serious enough that Karimov flew back the following day to meet with the crowd. The meeting was tense: Karimov was jostled by the crowd, and the organizers of the meeting, Tohir Yo’ldoshev and Jumaboy Hojiyev, spoke to him rudely as they presented their demands, which ranged from the immediate and the concrete to the far-reaching and abstract. Adolat demanded that the building that housed the city committee of the Communist Party be turned into an Islamic center and called for the legalization of Islamic parties and the establishment of an Islamic state in Uzbekistan.

Here, finally, were Muslims who could “make trouble,” as the CIA had hoped in 1984, but they had come too late and were not welcome. The episode, along with developments in neighboring Tajikistan, where an Islamic party was playing a crucial role in that country’s unfolding civil war, put the threat of “Islamic fundamentalism” or “extremism”

-140-

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Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Islam in Central Asia 19
  • Chapter 2 - Empire and the Challenge of Modernity 34
  • Chapter 3 - The Soviet Assault on Islam 50
  • Chapter 4 - Islam as National Heritage 84
  • Chapter 5 - The Revival of Islam 116
  • Chapter 6 - Islam in Opposition 140
  • Chapter 7 - The Politics of Antiterrorism 168
  • Conclusion - Andijan and beyond 192
  • Afterword 204
  • Glossary 211
  • Notes 213
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Index 243
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